Benjamin Dufa (1996)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Coming-of-Age, Teen Movie  |   Run Time - 91 min.  |   Countries - Iceland  |  
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Nostalgic and suitable for families with older children, this Icelandic drama is based on a best-selling, distinguished children's book and offers a realistic look at the 12th summer in the lives of several middle class boys. For them it is an idyllic time filled with lots of fun until the troubled teen Helgi shows up to terrorize them. Benjamin (the narrator), Andres and Baldur know how to avoid Helgi, but neighborhood newcomer Roland doesn't. One day he stands up to Helgi, who retaliates by dousing Roland with lighter fluid and setting him ablaze. Fortunately, the old widow Guolaug is there to save the boy and send Helgi packing. Unfortunately, vengeful Helgi does something awful to her, causing the boys to form an order of avenging knights. The idea catches on and soon boys all over the city have joined such orders. Unfortunately, not all the new orders work for good. Meanwhile Helgi and the widow Guolaug eventually become friends after the teen nearly dies trying to save the old woman from a terrible house fire. The disaster inspires the neighborhood "knights" to start a campaign to help her rebuild the house, but this creates infighting within the group and ultimately leads to an even greater tragedy.

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Keywords

coming-of-age, damsel-in-distress, friendship, injury, neighbor, rescue, revenge, Summer, teenagers, widow/widower